UK press card body warns of amateur 'media pass'
9 August 2010
Police forces and other organisations have been warned about a so-called "press pass" being sold by Demotix, the amateur journalists' website.
Mike Granatt, chair of the UK Press Card Authority, said:
"The Demotix ‘press pass' is nothing of the sort, despite the fact that it is designed to look like a genuine identity document.
"The National Press Card is the card of professional journalists in the UK. All the major media organisations, associations and trades unions are part of the scheme.
"We have worked hard over many years to establish the National Press Card as the ID for professional journalists. It is designed to assure the police and others that the holder is a professional newsgatherer, working full-time to serve the public.
"Our concern is that the police and third parties might be misled by the Demotix card. Its intention is confirmed by Demotix's advice on its website, which suggests '…walking up to the authorities with swagger, then shove the press pass in their face along with 'that's right, I have access to this event' grin on your face'.
"No professional journalist would behave like that and no one should encourage anybody to try to bluster their way past a cordon or into an event with this hobbyist's 'press pass'.
"We will contact police forces across the country to alert them to the Demotix card."
The UK Press Card Authority manages a voluntary scheme for issuing press/media credentials, the UK press card, to professional newsgatherers working in the UK.
It is wholly owned and collectively controlled by the UK's major media organisations, industry associations, trades unions, and professional associations.m
A full list of the 17 organisations and a copy of the card can be found on the Press Card Authority website.